Obtaining a K3 Visa for your US Spouse

Mastercard and visa plastic electronic credit cards macro close up. ISTANBUL, TURKEY - February 2022

You can be qualified to apply for a K3 visa if you are married to an American citizen. While your application for permanent residency is being processed, this visa enables you to live in the United States. Here is what you need to know about the process:

  • You will need to file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, with USCIS.
  • Your spouse must be the beneficiary of the petition and must be outside of the United States when you file.
  • You must demonstrate that you have a bona fide marriage to a U.S. citizen.
  • Your spouse must meet all eligibility requirements for permanent residency.
  • You will be required to attend an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.

If you are granted a K3 visa, you will be able to stay in the United States for up to two years. You can apply for permanent residency after being in the United States for one year.

What is a K3 US Visa?

A K3 US Visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows the spouse of a U.S. citizen to come to the United States to live and work while awaiting approval of their immigrant visa petition. To be eligible for a K3 Visa, you must be the spouse of a U.S. citizen who is currently living in the United States, and your marriage must be valid under U.S. law.

The process of obtaining a K3 Visa can be complicated, so it is important to consult with an experienced immigration lawyer before filing your petition. There are several steps involved in the application process, and each one must be completed correctly for your visa to be approved.

How can I Apply for a K3 Visa?

There are two ways to apply for a K3 visa: through the U.S. embassy in your home country, or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

If you choose to apply at the U.S. embassy, you will need to provide the following documents:

  1. Your spouse’s full name, date of birth, and nationality.
  2. Proof of your marriage (e.g. marriage certificate).
  3. Proof of your relationship (e.g. photos of you and your spouse together).
  4. Evidence that you will be able to support your spouse financially.
  5. A completed Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.

If you choose to apply through USCIS, you will need to provide the following documents:

  1. Your spouse’s full name, date of birth, and nationality.
  2. Proof of your marriage (e.g. marriage certificate).
  3. Proof of your relationship (e.g. photos of you and your spouse together).
  4. Evidence that you will be able to support your spouse financially.
  5. Completed Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
  6. A completed Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

Eligibility Requirements for a K3 Visa

The eligibility requirements for a K3 visa are as follows:

  • The petitioner must be a U.S. citizen.
  • The beneficiary must have been married to the petitioner for at least two years.
  • The beneficiary must intend to reside in the United States with the petitioner.
  • The beneficiary must be physically present in the United States to apply.

The beneficiary must meet all other eligibility requirements for a visa classification based on their relationship to the petitioner.

Applicant Ineligibility for the Visa

The K3 US visa for spouses is not available for every applicant. Applicants should be aware of the ineligibility criteria set by the US Department of State. Such ineligibility criteria include:

  • Prior violations of US immigration laws.
  • Human trafficking or smuggling is committed by either spouse if the applicant has an outstanding arrest warrant in any country.
  • Applicants should also note that they must demonstrate a legitimate marriage to be eligible for this type of visa. 
  • The US Department of State requires that the marriage between the applicant and their spouse is legally recognized both under foreign law and under the laws of the state where they live.
  • Any past marriages must have been legally dissolved with no pending legal action arising from those past unions.

When can my Spouse Legally Travel to the USA with their K3 Visa?

Your spouse is permitted to enter the country with a K3 Visa, but only when their visa has been authorized. From the time an application is made, the process may take up to six months. Their spouse must arrive in the country within six months of the visa’s acceptance date after it has been granted. If not, they might have to reapply for a visa and start the procedure all over again. For your spouse’s visa to remain valid until their Green Card is obtained and they are qualified for permanent residency in the United States, they must arrive within the allotted time frame.

What Supporting Documents do you Need to Qualify for a K3 Visa?

To qualify for a K3 visa, applicants must submit several pieces of evidence in support of their application. These documents include the marriage certificate, evidence that the US citizen sponsor is financially able to support their family, and a copy of a valid passport. Moreover, the applicant must provide proof of identity, such as a driver’s license or national identification card. Finally, it is recommended that the applicant provide proof that they are legally present and authorized to remain in their current country of residence. This can be done by submitting a valid visa from that country or an I-94 form from the US.

All supporting documents must be submitted with the application and will be reviewed by consular officers to ensure that the applicant meets all requirements for K3 visa eligibility.

What is the Processing Time for a K3 Visa?

For those interested in applying for a K3 visa, it’s important to understand the timeline for processing. The time frame for processing a K3 visa depends on the workload of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office and can range from several months to a year. The average processing time is usually around four to six months, but the process can take longer. Furthermore, various factors can speed up or slow down the application process, such as whether or not all of the necessary documents have been submitted and any unforeseen delays.

Five Common Mistakes to Avoid in your K3 Visa Application

When it comes to successfully obtaining a K3 US Visa for your spouse, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the application process and avoid common mistakes. Five of these mistakes are forgetting to include; 

  1. Required Documentation
  2. Not providing a valid passport
  3. Filing for the wrong visa type
  4. Failing to disclose any prior denials of visas or immigration benefits
  5. Not understanding the filing fees

Each of these issues has the potential to cause a delay in processing time or denial of your application. It is recommended that you closely review all instructions provided when submitting your form and thoroughly check that you haven’t missed out on any necessary information or failed to provide any required documents. Moreover, making sure that your passport is valid when applying for an immigrant visa as well as understanding what filing fees are necessary can help speed up the processing times and increase your chance of success in obtaining your K3 Visa.

Six Tips for a Smooth Application Process

The K3 visa process is complex and requires due diligence to have a successful application. To make the process easier, here are six tips for completing your K3 US visa application.

  1. Organize and keep track of all your documents. Having them prepared in advance will save you from scrambling at the last minute. 
  2. Review the requirements carefully and make sure you have all the supporting documents needed for the application.
  3. Fill out the forms completely, thoroughly, and accurately. 
  4. Make sure that everything is legible and photocopied before submitting it to USCIS. 
  5. Double-check that your payment information is accurate as mistakes could lead to delayed processing of your visa application. 
  6. Keep copies of everything you submit in case you need them during the visa process or appeal process down the road.

Following these tips can help ensure a smooth application process and increase your chance of success in obtaining a K3 US visa for your spouse!

Frequently Asked Questions about the K3 Visa

Applying for a K3 visa is not something to be taken lightly, as it’s a long and complicated process that requires careful research and preparation. To assist applicants in their journey, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about K3 visas:

  • What documents do I need to apply for? You will need to submit your spouse’s passport and birth certificate along with Form I-129F, evidence of your valid marriage, police records, and proof of sufficient financial resources. It’s best to check with the US Embassy or Consulate for the most up-to-date list of required documents.
  • How long does it take to get a K3 Visa? Generally, the process can take anywhere from 6 months to 18 months. However, time frames may vary depending on individual cases. It’s best to contact the Embassy or Consulate so they can provide you with an estimate of how long your application will take.

Purchasing K3 US Visa for Spouses

Those seeking to purchase a K3 US visa for their spouse must first submit Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once the petition has been approved, the principal applicant’s spouse is eligible to apply for a K3 visa at the American Embassy or Consulate in his/her home country. Upon its issuance, the principal applicant’s foreign-born spouse is eligible to travel to the United States for a 90-day stay, after which he/she may commence applying for permanent residence.

If you are married to a U.S. citizen and would like to live in the United States, the K3 visa may be the right option for you. The K3 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows spouses of U.S. citizens to enter the United States to wait for their permanent resident status. To be eligible for the K3 visa, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. Be married to a U.S. citizen
  2. Be the spouse of a U.S. citizen who is currently in the United States
  3. Have a valid marriage certificate
  4. Be able to demonstrate that you have a bona fide marriage
  5. Be able to demonstrate that you intend to eventually become a U.S. citizen
  6. Meet all other requirements for a non-immigrant visa